Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Purple

Evening light lavender festival 07072018 flash writing prompt copyright KS Brooks
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Use the photograph above as the inspiration for your flash fiction story. Write whatever comes to mind (no sexual, political, or religious stories, jokes, or commentary, please) and after you PROOFREAD it, submit it as your entry in the comments section below.

Welcome to the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture at left. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time. No political or religious entries, please. Need help getting started? Read this article on how to write flash fiction.

On Wednesday, we will open voting to the public with an online poll so they may choose the winner. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday. On Saturday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature.

Once a month, the admins will announce the Editors’ Choice winners. Those stories will be featured in an anthology like this one. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted. See HERE for additional information and terms. Please note the rule changes for 2018.

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16 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Purple”

  1. Lavender Blues

    I bring her morning coffee shortly after 5:00 am, place it on her nightstand. I then touch her lips, her tongue edges out and its tip caresses my finger. Her eyes then ease open, she smiles, says, “I’ll be ready soon.”

    I point to her coffee.

    “I see it,” she says. “There’s something else? I can tell.”

    I need to divulge of course. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. Won’t. After two months of daily, hourly loss of our way of splendid living, there should be no surprises at all. About anything.

    We had even spoke about it the previous evening. And all the days before. She hasn’t forgotten. Its more, well, the human spirit has a great need to blanket the horror, to shape what it can except.

    “They announced last night,” I share the latest news. “Lavender Lanes will not open.”

    “Oh, Freddie,” she cries in that deep sad voice that shatters my heart, “Why? Why would they do that? Surely its big enough, we could physically distance till the cows came home.”

    “I would have thought they could manage. However, it’s the power of lavender. Its almost a sedative. You know that.”

    She’s stopped listening. COVID-19 has taken so much. We fully expected that Lucky’s Lavender Fields would not open in late June but their bowling alley, lavender wafting through that excellent ten pin emporium; We had so hoped it would prevail.

    Alas, Public Health feared bowlers would be stupefied.

    There was simply no justice.

  2. Purple Ribbon
    I didn’t mind she was always playing tricks on me. She was full of life and I love her.

    What she liked about me, was that I was a good sport and never complained.

    She has the prettiest green eyes like a tropical pool.

    We’ve dated long enough to know what we can get away with, but maybe this time, I went too far.

    I got down on one knee. “My lovely lady, could you stand me for the rest of your life?”

    Her smile started as I knelt down, and then got ear to ear. Not to be outdone – “I will have to think about it.”

    “Good. Since you love green, I bought you the most beautiful emerald ring.”

    I could see the anticipation and moisture in her eyes, and just a slight nod of her head.

    “While you’re thinking about your answer, I tied it on a purple ribbon and hid it in the field.”

    She had been asking why we were driving so far out into the countryside. She turned to look at the field, which Monet would have loved. She pulled her hat down to shield her eyes from the sun, but maybe it was to hide her tears of love and possibly hate.

    She was an hour into trying to find the seal of my love. I was starting to wonder if I could even find it. I know now that she really loves me, but I don’t see that smile any longer.

  3. We finally entrapped the little fool. The engulfing scent of our lavender flowers made her dizzy and unable to react the way she wanted. The brim of her hat shadowed the tears in her eyes. We entwined ourselves around her cringing body and squeezed a little harder. In a last attempt to free herself, she raised her arm and tried to spray the deadly herbicide onto our petals. We whipped part of ourselves
    around her wrist and pulled her closer to our roots. She gasped as we searched to enter each orifice. It would soon be over. Our quickly emerging seedlings covered the wicker basket and shears she used to heartlessly slaughter an armful of blooms to adorn her home. Her twisted smirk as she snipped each stem made me shudder.

    Uh, uh. Not with us, anymore!

    Soon, the approaching space shuttle would be ready for its cargo. It hovered above and beamed down its shining rays transporting our living incubator into its acclimated cocoon. The research laboratory injects a solution that increases the speed of germination into her languid body. Hundreds of seeds created will soon blossom and search for their humans to penetrate. Within days this world could be ours. We will have eliminated the selfish flower gatherers that deprive the world of enjoying the natural beauty of flowers in full bloom.

    Our job done, we head back to our tranquil planet of flowering beauty praying that now there finally will be peace on earth.

  4. The Song of the Fields

    It was the song of the fields I heard that day. Its soft melody rode on the breeze, gently touching my memory and caressing my soul.

    I heard the melody as I walked through the field, neck deep in Indigo, purple sage. A gentle breeze carried the tune, and it swept along the purple beads, rippling the grass like golden waves, shimmering in the sun.

    The song was melancholy, and carried with it the memories of time. A time not so long ago. A time filled with fields of machines and workers and farmhouses and laughter and humid Saturday nights sitting on the porch.

    Hard working days and lazy days, couples having children, everyone working the farm, the land, the fields. The purple fields.

    It was a land that yielded up its treasure, that went to the markets, that fed the people, that paid the bills.

    Hands got dirty working the land. They became gnarly and old, working for a living, a life, a future.

    Now the struggles of yesteryear are distant echoes . . . echoes that carry the song of the fields.

    The fields of life, of people, of purple . . . of gold.

  5. The purple sea closed around her. She was safe for a while.

    Delores settled into the cool dimness of the lavender; her face banded with light. If she kept low, she’d be invisible, out of sight, hidden by the scent cloud rising above. Maybe she could stay here a little longer. Rest a few minutes.

    “Hai! Is there anybody out there?”

    The voice crackled across the fields; megaphone amplified. It could have been someone she knew; it was impossible to tell through the distortion. She crouched down even lower, sliding forward onto her stomach.

    “You can’t have gone far. We would have seen you leave.” The voice became crueller, placing stresses on the pronouns. She could imagine it being a man, a soldier taking pleasure from the hunt. He would be receiving his information from drones, seismographs and satellites, her chances of survival diminishing with every second. Her options were resolving themselves of their own accord.

    Very soon, there’d be only one.

    “If it’s to be a waiting game, we’re more than ready to play. We’ve got enough MRE’s to last till Doomsday.”

    The voice had become casual, its earlier urgency now a drawl. She knew they wanted to put her off-guard, to make her relax. But she still held a trump card: a low one, but it could be enough.

    She stood, hands by her sides, letting the search beams find her.

    “I’m here,” she said, dropping the pin from the grenade. “Come get me. I’m ready to talk.”

  6. The two sisters, 11 and 7, sat dejectedly on the cement steps to their house. It was Mother’s Day. Traffic on the arterial was heavy.

    “They’re probably taking their mothers to brunch,” said the older girl, her long brown hair falling to her shoulders, her eyes enlarged by the big black glasses she wore.

    “Let’s take Mom to brunch,” said her sister, her blond hair a mess of curls crowning her head. She held her hand to her forehead, shading the morning sun from her eyes.

    “Silly girl,” said the older sister. “Dad has to drive us and he’s gone until Thanksgiving.”

    “Is Thanksgiving next week?” asked the youngest.

    “You are silly,” said the older. “It’s at least two weeks away. We need something now.”

    “Flowers?” asked the younger girl. “We could sneak lilacs from Mrs. Bashew’s yard.”

    “They are purple,” said the older girl. “Mom love’s purple. But they’re done blooming. They’re brown.”

    “What about those purple plants in Candy’s yard?”

    The older girl looked to the right. “Mom says that’s lavender. They’ll turn purple but later. Maybe Thanksgiving.”

    “Shoot,” said the younger girl. “Mom needs flowers today. She likes yellow.”

    The older sister pointed to the daffodils in their flower bed. “All dead.”

    The two sisters, elbows on their knees and chins in their hands, scanned the world around them. Suddenly, they both stood up, nodded their heads, and without a word went about picking the hugest bouquet of yellow dandelions from their unmowed front yard.

  7. I met her that summer on a farm in eastern Colorado. We were both grad students. Different schools; different backgrounds. We were at the farm for science. We were both bio majors. Her specialty was wildflowers. Mine was insects.

    The farm was ideal for field research. They made a passable lavender-scented natural bar soap. What drew us to it was her focus on wildflower fragrances and my obsession with the local honeybee population.

    We found a vast planting of tall lavender, flowering in the summer sun. Close work in those fields left one with dreams in deep purple. The aroma in the morning was dense and spellbinding. We both succumbed to its romantic influence, sharing that summer as colleagues and lovers.

    She was petite, Hispanic, with a minor snaggletooth. She had an old straw fedora; foreign-looking; Uruguayan maybe. It was her signature. At summers’ end, goodbyes were comfortably exchanged. After all, we were professionals, intent on pursuing other dreams. Cell numbers and addresses were offered but never pursued.

    Twenty years later, I had settled into an academic position. As an apiology expert. I was called to a convention in Denver sponsored by that same old collective from so long ago. She was there. She hadn’t changed much. Still unmarried, but her teeth were straight. Her discoveries had increased the farm’s market for its lavender fragrance globally in a wide range of consumer products. She was rich. But she still owned that awful hat.

  8. Well, that just about killed the old needle-in-a-haystack saying. There must be a hundred things less difficult to find than an amethyst ring in an endless field of purple blossoms.

    If only she hadn’t been cursed with amethyst as a birthstone. Why couldn’t she have been born in July and have a bright red ruby as her birthstone? That she could find with no trouble at all. But an amethyst? In a field full of purple flowers? Oh, please!

    And why did that idiot Harold have to give her a birthstone ring anyway? And why here of all places?

    Oh, sure, he’d played up the romantic stuff. Saying he had a big surprise for her, driving them out to the field, pledging his undying devotion, slipping the ring on her finger. The ring would have fit better on her wrist, it was so big. Naturally it fell off right away and disappeared down into the thatch.

    From her, that rated an eye roll. From him, a horrified yelp and scrambling on hands and knees in a desperate search for his symbol of undying love. When he regained his senses, he sprang to his feet and made her promise to not move from this spot while he rushed into town to buy a metal detector. He would regain the ring or die trying.

    Well, he never found the ring, and he didn’t die trying. He bought her another ring, a bright ruby red beauty. She loved it.

  9. Abigail had just turned 10, it was her birthday yesterday. The homemade strawberry cake was lovingly made by her mother. She felt a bit strange thinking about it now .. as she hurried her way across the lavender farm. She always loved how in the summer, the flowers turned into these mesmerizing colors, but today was not a day to appreciate the subtle beauty of those delicate flowers, it was just a labyrinth today which she had to navigate, fast! Part of her wanted to cross this maze as fast as she can, part of her wished to just drown in this sea.

    She took a quick look back and saw her home which was slowly turning into a small brown smudge on the horizon, a stark contrast to the sea of purple. She quickly wiped the tears off her cherubic cheeks with her sleeves, she wanted to wail but she only managed a few whimpers.

    Abi and her two younger brothers were preparing to celebrate Shavout when she heard her mother shout her name “Abi Run !!”, she heard six or seven gunshots after that. As the German soldiers marched out, the last thing she heard was a soft thud, as a bullet streaked it’s way across the lavender fields and buried itself in the back of her beautiful golden locks under her white hat. Abi slumped forward, the lavender fields gently swayed to hold her body as she saw the purple flowers for the last time.

  10. Oh No, Purple
    On no, that weird man was following her again. She’d managed to lose him previously, she could this time? Niki walked quickly along the woodland path. . She didn’t think he was dangerous, just obsessed with her. He was strange. Could she be certain he wasn’t dangerous? She took a diversion in the path and hurried on. Looking back, he was still behind her. She’d usually lost him by now. Of course, she was wearing purple. Purple jacket, matching jumper and t shirt, so if she took her jacket off she would still be just as visible to him. Why had she worn purple for a walk in the woods, when older clothes would have been more suitable. She’d wanted a change from navy or grey and treated herself to her favourite colour.
    As she carried on along the path, Niki saw a field of some purple crop. It could be lavender. All she had to do was sneak through the hedge into the field, keep low and she would be wearing the perfect camouflage. She found a slight gap in the hedge, sneaked into the field, went in a little way and sat down. Had she lost him?
    “Scus me dalin, you dropped this.” He was there, holding up the pendant she had bought, matching purple.
    “Spose I can’t date u dalin, yuse gorgus?”
    “Ern no sorry, I’m seeing some one.”
    “Oh well, don’t know if you don’t ask.”
    He handed her the pendant and walked away.

  11. A noise breaking the silence is easily heard. Sensing the silence slinking through the sounds is another matter entirely.

    Mia listened, swaying with the stalks of lavender shrouding her slim form. The soft hush of the purple tufts promised safety, a whispering lie. The warm fragrance of the wind washing over her cheeks soothed her senses, a false calm.

    She closed her eyes to the shiver of the sun on the field. Too distracting.

    She stilled, sinking into the susurrus.

    The swish of the stalks swelled and subsided in waves, consistent, predictable. Mia focused, hunting for any break in the pattern, any sign of the stifler that had tripped her alarm.

    There. To the south, a strange stutter in the soundscape.

    Mia could track it now, the patch of sinister silence slithering ever closer, slowing in its approach. She just had to wait for it to come within reach of her barbed spear.

    The silence spread, along with a cold horror in her chest. Was there more than one? Had the stifler somehow opened a portal here, letting more of its kind flood through? She was quick, but had never taken more than two of the creatures at once.



    She couldn’t let the panic overtake her alongside the stiflers.

    Mia listened intently as the silence soaked in all around her, and a different fear chilled her heart.

    The wind had died.

    Silence enveloped her, and she stabbed.


    “Don’t look at me,” said the beautiful purple Lavender — “I am just a Flower.”

    Just then a swarm of bees came fluttering, sat on my hat and said, “Oh! They are nothing but only a bunch of flowers, come I will show you other wonders of the world.”

    Bees wanted all the goodness for themselves.

    “Oh! Come!” said bees of yellow wings—– “don’t stop.”

    “But I like purple and I love sweet smelling lavender,” said I.

    Suddenly the Lavender hollered with a tinge of distress, “wait for a minute, don’t’ go, hear me out.”
    “Why do you grow us just for your pleasure, for our fragrance and beautiful appearance.You put us into the flower vase; you throw us in the garbage when we are dispossessed of the most valuable properties: brilliance and fragrance.” The flower sighed.

    Just then, I felt like a little girl, running between rows of purple lavender; it was magical!

    So I said to the Lavenders–

    “What is a minute good for?I want to be with you forever in my memories.Every minute I live, I will remember that it would take me but a minute to die, but will take me forever to forget this sexy garden, gorgeously fragrant with its pretty purple blossom. Fresh blooming flowers, warmth of sunshine and breathing the smell , all soothes my senses.”

    So I said to the bees, “I love you a lot, but this minute is precious to me, and see nothing at all.”

  13. Purple as far as the eye could see. This is what the shogun’s wife saw as she sat quietly watching her husband walk amongst the flowers in a field of rabenda. This was the place he came to when times were troubling.

    The country was on the brink of war. Several Lords who controlled the southern region were vying for complete control. Lives would be lost if war broke out. The shogun had to maintain balance. Giving one lord to much power would allow the destruction others. Taking away too much power would allow others to grow in strength. All would inevitably lead to a single lord who would challenge the Emperor for the right to rule.

    So lost in his thoughts the shogun failed to notice movement among the rabenda.

    His wife watched in silence as a shinobi dressed all in purple rose out of the field unsheathing a Nijatō. A second later the shogun was dead.

    Soon after war broke out, the country was brought to its knees, until the people revolted against the lords changing the empire forever. Eventually the country became a place of peace and prosperity for all that still exists today.

    And yet when looking back on history people often wonder why a woman who loved her husband so much would help bring about his assassination. Was it for power, for money; no one knows. On the day of her execution someone asked her why she did it.

    Her only response was, “For Nippon.”

  14. Obvious
    Rocks are dry. But informative. Dry is the air, too. The entire class stops, for a few sips from water bottle, on way back to camp at youth hostel.
    They cannot fathom what has rejuvenated their hope. The water or the breathtaking view of flax-linseed fields touching horizon on both sides of the footpath that they were following.
    They studied today an old gorge of River Kansabati, moving from outcrop to outcrop, climbing up, jumping down, measuring angles of inclination of the structures in the rocks and their respective geographic orientations, taking photos with an object of known dimension for establishing dimension of the object in the photo.
    Field study never tires them. Unusual fear of this afternoon has done.
    Rimi, the class leader, could not match the count of her fellow classmates when gathered to return to the camp. Mihi and Ruhi are missing with their notebooks, water bottle, camera, everything.
    Everyone called them by name. Calling by cellphone seems impossible. There is no coverage in this area.
    Rumor is that local inhabitants are suspicious about business ventures from outside. They have, reportedly, harassed reconnaissance teams on previous occasions. They could have mistaken the students as surveyors for businesses. Inquisitive locales have already asked several questions regarding purpose of visit.
    On the professors’ advice the class is on its way to the police outpost by youth hostel.
    Ruhi and Mihi appear before the class, wading through colorful flax-linseed field. They could not lose their way with clinometer compass.

  15. In Fields of Lavender

    The fields of lavender stretch like bolts of corduroy from where we bask in summer sunlight. Their perfume wafts sweet and intoxicating, when we need not their breath, for she feels we might be living in a dream.

    A breeze combs the wales this way and that. They dance like rows of tiny willows, swaying to the tunes of that aeolian flute rising from the sea, that brilliant mirror of the sun’s face. Does she know it can never be my face?

    “Where are you?” she asks, as if my thoughts are always somewhere else. But I’ll be with her all day. “The light is perfect. Do you wish to draw me? Shall I disrobe?”

    Within these purple fronds I’m sure she cannot see my smile. Neither is it lecherous nor amused. She’s not some whore like in the village tavern, nor is she some silly child. She is earnest, yearning, waiting for me to memorialize her today. Some instrument of recollection for when she is old and alone.

    Then the tear forms at the corner of her eye, as realization crosses her mind like a cloud.
    She’s recalls I’m heir to the darkness, yang to shining yin of this Provence light. I can record my chiaroscuro impressions of her, but they’re fleeting.

    I’m leaving, evening drawing me in its charcoal-covered hands, drawing me as a stick man of two-dimensions, drawing me longer and narrower as I near my vanishing point out there beyond these fields of lavender.

  16. Everywhere Sandra looked, purple inflorescences stretched as far as the eye could see. To an untrained person they might appear to be weeds, but she could see a cultivated field. Given the Kitties were obligate carnivores, it was likely a fodder crop to be windrowed and baled into hay.

    She’d written her master’s thesis on the development of mechanical harvesting of fodder crops, and had been looking forward to doctoral work. If only she’d accepted Cornell’s offer instead of staying at UCLA, things might’ve gone better.

    But here she was on a distant world, thanks to the mass relocations after the Watts Rebellion. On a raw new colony world like Solace, no one had any use for a historian of agriculture. And the jobs she could get in town had proved nothing but frustration.

    The longer she looked over these fields, the more she recalled her dad’s stories of growing up on a farm. He’d been in his teens when they had to sell in the shakeouts of the 1980’s, and he’d never quite adjusted to a salaryman’s life. He’d made enough of a living to support three children and send her to college, but he’d never truly thrived, just endured.

    Which made the Kitties’ offer of homesteading right such a cruel irony. If only Dad were still alive, he’d take it in a heartbeat.

    And then she realized she had an opportunity to carry out her father’s legacy and start a new farm here, now, on this world.

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